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Working together to conserve and enhance East Gippsland’s naturally wealthy landscapes, and the biodiversity and cultural heritage they hold, for now and into the future.
I am pleased to present the 2022 – 2028 East Gippsland Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS). The RCS has been prepared by the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority in collaboration with Traditional Owners, our regional partners, and the communities of East Gippsland.
The past six years have been some of the most challenging times experienced by our environment and communities across the region. We experienced one of the worst droughts recorded, followed by landscape scale bushfires that burnt more than half the region. The impact of this was compounded by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and more recently we have seen large rain events and continuous flooding across the region.
Despite these challenges our region remains the ‘jewel in the crown’ in Victoria. It contains a wealth of significant natural assets including our rivers, wetlands and many national parks and reserves. It is the only place on mainland Australia where the continuity of natural ecosystems – from the alps to the sea – still exists.
The natural resources of the region are used to generate wealth in many ways. The floodplain of our major river are used for high value horticulture, the alpine and coastal areas for recreational activities, and the foothills for grazing and timber production.
The 2022 RCS provided for a continued focus on Traditional Owner engagement and integrated catchment management across the region. The key areas of focus in the RCS include:
- Alpine Peaks – maintain the unique environmental assets of the high country, including alpine peatlands through controlling pest plants and animals, and improving the connection and hydrology of our alpine wetlands.
- Forested foothills – improving the condition and connectivity of our river corridors and working with landholders to increase ground cover across agricultural areas to improve productive values and improving the sustainability of agriculture in the region.
- Gippsland Lakes – protecting and improving this wetland system of international importance by enhancing saltmarsh communities, reducing nutrient and sediment entering the lakes, and enhancing the fringing wetlands around the lakes and the species they support.
- Protecting the Best (Far East Gippsland) – improving the condition and connectivity of our river and estuaries, a focus on recovering from bushfires, and protecting our high values places by controlling pest plants and animals.
- Red Gum Plains – maintaining and improving creek corridors, protecting threatened vegetation communities, and working with landholders to increase ground cover across agricultural areas.
The management of our region is a responsibility that we all share. This can be done most effectively when individuals, community groups, Traditional Owners and land and water management organisations work in partnership to achieve agreed outcomes.
I would like to thank the individuals, community groups, Traditional Owners and management agencies who contributed to the development of the RCS. Our challenge now is to implement the actions outlined in the strategy over the next 6 years.
I invite you all, as individuals, as community groups, Traditional Owners and as agencies to contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the environmental and productive assets on which our prosperity and way of life depends.
East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority